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Sunday, January 16, 2005 

Milan 3-1 Udinese

Milan kept up their challenge at the top of the table following an impressive 3-1 home win against third-placed Udinese. Coach Carlo Ancelotti brought fit-again Jaap Stam back into the centre of defence alongside Alessandro Nesta, with Paolo Maldini, who was of course celebrating twenty years at the club, moving out to his familiar left-back position. Clarence Seedorf replaced Vikash Dhorasoo on the left of midfield, with Kaka supporting strikers Hernan Crespo and Andriy Shevchenko.

Udinese came into the game having won their last two encounters against the Rossoneri at the San Siro and took the lead after just nine minutes when Antonio Di Natale latched on to Vincenzo Iaquinta’s pass on the edge of the area before turning sharply and firing a dipping shot over Dida. Milan dominated play after that but were finding it difficult to break down a well-organised defence until the 31st minute when Kaka found space on the right-hand side of the area and curled a low cross to the back post for Shevchenko to side-foot home from close range.

Shevchenko returned the compliment with a deft cross from the left but Kaka put his downward header against the base of the upright. As half time approached, Seedorf had an good opportunity in front of goalkeeper Morgan De Santis but lofted the ball over the crossbar.

Milan were equally determined at the beginning of the second half but it took an own-goal on 52 minutes to give them the lead. Seedorf curled in a cross from the right which the retreating Marek Jankulovski misjudged and headed past the stranded De Santis despite the fact that there were no Milan players in the area. Dida then had to react quickly to Iaquinta’s fierce free-kick which the Brazilian got down to finger-tip on to the post while at the other end Kaka had a drive charged down inside the area.

Jon Dahl Tomasson replaced Crespo on 77 minutes and the Dane evaded the offside trap to run free on goal but put his low shot too close to De Santis who saved but in the final moments Kaka put the result beyond doubt as he ran on to a loose Shevchenko knock-on before coolly drawing the goalkeeper and rolling the ball into the back of the net.

MILAN: Dida; Cafu (Costacurta, 88'), Nesta, Stam, Maldini; Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf (Ambrosini, 80'); Kakà; Shevchenko, Crespo (Tomasson, 77').

UDINESE: De Sanctis; Bertotto, Sensini, Felipe; Mauri (Fava, 77'), Pinzi, Pizarro, Pazienza (Pieri, 64'), Jankulovski; Iaquinta, Di Natale.

GOALS: 0-1, Di Natale (9'); 1-1, Shevchenko (30'); 2-1, Jankulovski (52', og); 3-1, Kakà (90').

Source: acmilan.it; gazzetta.it


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